Mozilla rolls out Firefox 5 beta

Following up on its pledge to step up its release schedule, Mozilla has unleashed the first beta of Firefox 5. The release follows hot on the heels of the debut of Firefox 4 and contains relatively few new features: the two most important are support for a CSS animation standard (which has yet to be approved by the W3C but is already implemented in Google Chrome and Apple Safari) and the implementation of a “channel switcher” that lets users who want to live on the bleeding edge of Firefox flip between “Aurora” (pre-beta, but QA’d), Beta, and Release versions of Firefox.

Firefox 5 channels

Firefox 5 doesn’t include any major revisions to the application’s user interface, which got a semi-substantial makeover in Firefox 4, and in many cases users are still trying to adjust to the changes. However, in addition to the two many new features above, Firefox 5 also rolls in a number of less-visible changes and bug fixes, detailed in the beta release notes.

Mozilla anticipates moving Firefox 5 into release channel towards the end of June. Firefox 6 is scheduled for early August, and the end of the year might even see the release of Firefox 9.

The strategy is intended to help Firefox keep up with the likes of Google Chrome and Opera: where Chrome and Opera have typically released major version updates every couple months, Firefox has been set on a schedule of more-monolithic releases, with major revisions coming only after long intervals. Although Mozilla has been aggressive about getting bug fixes and security updates out to users, the more-aggressive release schedule should enable Firefox to get new features to users sooner. Even Internet Explorer has taken on a more aggressive release schedule, announcing a developer preview of Internet Explorer 10 shortly after IE 9 hit the streets—the move leaves Apple’s Safari as the only major browser looking at a traditional release schedule.

Computing

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.
Computing

Firefox 64 helps keep your numerous tabs under control

Mozilla officially launched Firefox 64 by placing new features into the laps of its users including new tab management abilities, intelligent suggestions, and a task manager for keeping Firefox's power consumption under control.
Computing

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Movies & TV

HBO Go vs. HBO Now: Which streaming service is right for you?

If you're looking to get access to HBO, you might be comparing HBO Go and HBO Now. We break down the differences between the twin streaming services and see how they compare to one another.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.
Deals

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

If you have new AirPods, you may be looking forward to pairing them with your MacBook. Our guide will show you exactly how to connect AirPods to MacBook, what to do if they are already paired with a device, and more.
Computing

Hitting ‘Check for updates’ in Windows 10 opts you into beta releases

Users who are careful about keeping their system updated should watch out -- Microsoft revealed this week that clicking the Check for updates button in Windows can opt you in to testing beta code.
Product Review

The Asus ZenBook 14 is a tiny notebook that gets lost in the crowd

The ZenBook 14 aims to be the smallest 14-inch notebook around, and it succeeds thanks to some tiny bezels. Performance and battery life are good, but the notebook lacks a standout feature other than size.
Computing

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.
Computing

Which Macs are compatible with MacOS Mojave?

Is your computer ready for Apple's big Mojave update? Here's what you need to know about MacOS Mojave compatibility, what Macs can successful download Mojave, and the requirements you need to know about.
Computing

Change your mouse cursor in Windows with these quick tips

The standard mouse cursor is boring, so change it! With this guide on how to change your mouse cursor in Windows, you can choose to use one of Microsoft's pre-installed cursors or download something a bit more extravagant.
Gaming

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.